Our number one recommendation when handling antique furniture is that you never drag the item. Generally, antique furniture cannot withstand significant lateral pressure. As such, dragging can damage the item’s structural integrity or even break it completely. Moreover, dragging furniture can cause scratches, chips and cracks. Also, keep in you may risk injury when dragging heavy furniture. It is far safer to lift the item with the correct form and preferably with someone else’s assistance.
More specifically, we advise that you lift tables by their under-frame or base and not their top. And we recommend lifting chairs by their seat rails and not their backs. Lastly, we suggest avoiding using carrying handles on case furniture.
The above ties into our philosophy that prevention is always better than a cure. We will explore this concept further in the next section.
As we have suggested, preventing an issue is far better than addressing the consequences. Also, keep in mind that you should never attempt repairs yourself but have a qualified professional carry these out. This is because good repairs can increase the item value. Conversely, bad repairs will significantly devalue the item and could lead to long-term structural integrity issues. Fortunately, we handle all repairs before delivering the furniture to you. Therefore, the best thing for you to do is avoid future damage that would require professional restoration, such as by handling the item correctly (as detailed above).
When caring for antique furniture, we suggest you simply follow our general maintenance guidelines. These include keeping the furniture out of direct sunlight (using blinds or a protective cover when necessary) and using coasters to avoid burn and watermarks on surfaces. Even these seemingly insignificant marks can cause damage that you cannot address without expert help. As such, it’s clear to see that prevention always beats trying to remedy the consequences.
Lacquered Finish VS Natural Wood Finish
Another simple yet effective form of care is using wax or spray polish when necessary. For furniture with a natural wood finish, use wax. Conversely, for furniture with a lacquered finish (commonly seen with Edwardian, mahogany pieces), a gentle spray polish is best.
When using spray polish with lacquered pieces, spray the furniture lightly and use a cloth to work the polish in the same direction as the grain. Then, once you have removed the excess polish with this cloth, use a clean cloth to shine the surface; again, work with the grain.
When using wax with natural wood finishes, ensure you are using the correct colour wax for the piece. Apply the wax to a brush and work it with the grain. Then, use a cloth and form a pad to wipe the excess off. Following this, get a clean cloth and form a pad to polish the surface further (always working with the grain).
Moreover, we don’t advise you to try to ‘perfect’ antique pieces. That is, don’t attempt to make them look brand new. There is a story behind every piece, a life cycle, which you would strip away if you were to remove the patina or certain stains such as ink marks. Just think, these make fantastic conversation pieces as you have a tangible piece of history in your home.
For those who have purchased one of our welsh blankets, rest assured that product care is very straightforward. Simply ensure that you only cold wash your blanket.
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